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Wisdom Teeth

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the very back teeth in the adult mouth.

They are the last teeth to form and break through the gums into the mouth.

In most patients, this usually happens in the late teens or early twenties.

Since they start growing into the mouth at a later age, they are associated with adulthood or the “age of wisdom,” and thereby referred to as “wisdom teeth.”

Why do I need my wisdom teeth out?

Since wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come into the mouth, many times, they do not have enough room to grow into proper position.

As a result, the wisdom teeth may be tipped or angled.

When this happens, good oral hygiene is very difficult.

The inability to clean the wisdom teeth leads to gum infections, decay, or damage to adjacent teeth, which causes pain and swelling.

This is the most common reason wisdom teeth are removed.

Many orthodontists and dentists recommend having wisdom teeth removed to prevent this from happening.

Another reason is to prevent the crowding and shifting of teeth, especially after completing orthodontic treatment.

You do not want to wear braces for one or two years only to have the wisdom teeth move your teeth and make them crooked again.

Occasionally, cysts will form around the wisdom teeth.

These cysts are slow-growing and cause damage to the jawbone and adjacent teeth.

Wisdom teeth are removed to prevent this from happening.

Who removes wisdom teeth?

Oral surgeons are the most recognized dental professionals who remove wisdom teeth.

They have extensive training specifically focused on this surgical procedure.

As a board certified oral surgeon, Dr. Kirk has more than 16 years of experience in removing wisdom teeth.

Where will my surgery be performed?

Dr. Kirk performs the majority of wisdom tooth removal in a surgical suite at his office.

At times, patients have special medical needs that require surgery to be performed in a hospital setting.

During your consultation, Dr. Kirk will evaluate your health history and medication list.

Dr. Kirk will give you the best option based on this information.

How are wisdom teeth removed?

The surgery is performed in an office-based setting, and patients are usually sedated (asleep) for the procedure.

Once asleep, the oral surgeon numbs the gums and jawbone around the wisdom teeth, and they are removed.

It is very common to have all wisdom teeth removed at one time.

This allows for one surgery, one sedation, and one recovery period.

After surgery, patients are given ice packs and prescriptions to aid in a rapid recovery.

Dr. Kirk routinely prescribes pain medication, antibiotics, medicated mouthwash, and a steroid pack for his patients.

Patients are asked to maintain a soft diet and rest at home for 2-3 days.

A return to routine activity can be expected in 4-5 days (average).